WASHINGTON, D.C.— Stephen Hall, Better Markets’ Legal Director and Securities Specialist, issued the following statement in connection with the filing of an amicus curiae brief in the U.S. Supreme Court in Macquarie Infrastructure Corp. v. Moab Partners, L.P., No. 22-1165. The brief was led by the American Association for Justice along with Public Justice, and it was joined by Better Markets and the Consumer Federation of America.
“Our brief supports investors claiming they suffered damages after a company deliberately and repeatedly failed to disclose important information about its business prospects in reports required to be filed with the SEC. The brief reinforces the plaintiffs’ legal arguments and also refutes the company’s unfounded and dire predictions if the case is allowed to proceed. The reality is that omissions of material information can be just as damaging to investors as outright lies and the law should protect investors from both forms of deceit.
“The complaint alleges that the company repeatedly omitted key information from the regular reports that must be filed with the SEC under the securities laws. Those reports must include management’s discussion and analysis of the company’s financial condition and results of operations, including ‘known trends or uncertainties’ reasonably likely to have a material impact on the company. As alleged, the filings here omitted, year after year, any mention of the negative exposure that the company’s liquid storage service provider faced from regulatory changes potentially affecting its main source of revenue.
“Our brief drives home three points in support of the investors. First, as the Supreme Court has long recognized, private actions are essential for making injured investors whole, deterring misconduct, and supplementing the government’s limited ability to police the markets alone. Second, the legal theory being advanced falls squarely within the established scope of the antifraud provisions embodied in Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act. And third, the defendants’ dire predictions are unfounded. Based on existing law and actual experience, we know that a ruling in favor of the plaintiffs will neither open a floodgate of frivolous litigation nor overwhelm investors with too much disclosure. As we explain, full and honest disclosure is the lifeblood of our robust securities markets, and the Court should reaffirm that principle in this case.”
Better Markets is a non-profit, non-partisan, and independent organization founded to promote the public interest in the financial markets, support the financial reform of Wall Street and make our financial system work for all Americans again. Better Markets works with allies—including many in finance—to promote pro-market, pro-business and pro-growth policies that help build a stronger, safer financial system that protects and promotes Americans’ jobs, savings, retirements and more. To learn more, visit www.bettermarkets.org.